SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB
DATE: August 2, 2005
CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108
LANDLORDS DESERVE RIGHT TO PROTECT TENANTS FROM SEX OFFENDERS
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to lend its support to State legislation that would give rental housing owners the right to use the Megan’s Law Database to keep registered sex offenders from renting units.
The legislation, Assembly Bill 438, also would let rental housing owners use the Megan’s Law Database to evict registered sex offenders from rental units and warn other tenants if a registered sex offender is living at a property.
County support for the legislation was spearheaded by Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Ron Roberts who agreed that rental housing owners should not be forced to house dangerous criminals who are statistically likely to repeat their sinister acts.
“Imagine you’re renting an apartment with your children, or imagine you’re a woman renting an apartment alone. Don’t you think your landlord should have the right to keep you safe?” Jacob said.
“Currently, property owners and managers face lawsuits if they deny housing to registered sex offenders. That needs to change,” said Supervisor Jacob who has long urged the State to toughen its laws governing sex offenders and launched the nation’s first regional registered sex offender Internet Pin Map in 2001.
“As it stands, the law unfairly punishes rental property owners if they try to protect tenants from registered sex offenders,” said Supervisor Roberts. “That’s backward. We need to put public safety ahead of the convenience of known sex offenders.”
The County will begin contacting State elected representatives to express its support for AB 438, according to Jacob and Roberts.
The bill has support from the California State Sheriffs’ Association and the Peace Officers Research Association of California. It is sponsored by the California Apartment Association.